“We can never forget the help Ethiopia received from Negro Americans during the terrible crisis of 1935.
American Negroes showed great sympathy for our cause and extended the hand of brotherhood to us. This was our great hour of need. It moved me to know that Americans of African descent did not abandon their embattled brothers, but stood by us. The ties that bind Ethiopians to Negro Americans are historic and strong. I hope that these ties will persist and will be strengthened to our mutual advantage.
We follow with the greatest interest the struggle of the colored people of the United States to achieve equal rights and human dignity and we continue to follow the progress of that struggle with intense pain and pleasure.
Pain because colored people in America experience inequality and persecution, pleasure because of the efforts now being made in the United States by Negroes themselves and by the government to restore the freedom, rights and privileges to the colored people which have so long been denied them. We hope for and will continue to work for the speedy and satisfactory solution of the racial problem in the United States. We want our colored brothers in America to know that we are with them in their great struggle for justice.
We in Africa desire success in this struggle. I personally reaffirm our basic unity of purpose. What we Africans and colored Americans seek is identical. We both desire dignity and freedom and an end to oppression and discrimination based on color.
Discrimination violates fundamental human rights, it violates the laws of God and also the laws of man. I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance this problem of racial discrimination has in my mind. I believe both the Eastern countries and the Western countries will have to collaborate to remove this problem which is the scourge of mankind.
I am pleased to note that President Kennedy and his government are making great efforts to solve the racial problem.
We would like to see more colored Americans come to Ethiopia to work and help our people develop our country and improve the standards of living of our population. They can render valuable assistance. Our doors are open. Unfortunately, few Negroes have come so far, but they will be warmly welcomed.” #QHS